This is the continuation of Tuck Everlasting, if Winnie had gone back to the spring to drink the water.
Winnie Foster sat like a statue on the wooden bench of her front porch, waiting. The day was warm, but a slight breeze carried the wind through the pines. Winnie hoped that very wind would carry the Tucks back to TreeGap. It had been almost 40 years since she had first met Jesse Tuck.
She closed her eyes, breathing softly until she heard a sound. Faint at first. The rumbling of an approaching motorcycle growing closer and closer. She felt the rumbling stop in front of her house, and she heard footsteps drawing near. Winnie's breath faltered as several doubts began to run through her mind. She debated running away from the footsteps to avoid this encounter altogether, when suddenly the footsteps stopped.
Winnie held her breath. She felt a hand gently cup her chin, and she opened her eyes. She gasped. Standing in front of her, looking just as handsome as he did before, was Jesse Tuck. She jumped out of her seat and kissed him passionately on the lips. He picked her up and spun her around. They laughed and held each other. Jesse was dressed in blue jeans, and a white t-shirt. But other then that, he looked the same as he did 40 years ago.
She slowly slid down, but their eyes never left each others. They kissed again, this time simply, and long lasting. Winnie nuzzled her face in his neck. "I miss you." She whispered. He kissed her head softly and said with a tone of regret, "I'm sorry. You have to wake up Winnie."
Winnie began to panic. "Please, Jesse!" She watched as Jesse began to fade away, his soft smile a breeze on the wind. She tried to hold on, but it seemed that the harder she tried, the faster he disappeared.
Suddenly, Winnie opened her eyes and sat up in bed. She was breathing heavily, tears streaming down her face. It was all a dream...
She buried her face in her hands and cried for a moment, her silent sobs shaking her body. Then composing herself, she brushed away her tears and breathed a deep sigh. Peering around the room, she was thankful that she hadn't disturbed the other sleeping nurses.
Knowing that she would never be able to fall asleep again after, she silently got out of bed. Tip-toeing to the mirror, Winnie pulled her long, curly brown hair back into as nice a bun as she could manage. She slipped on her nurse uniform and applied a little lipstick. It was hard for her to keep up with modern fashion, because time seemed to move much slower for her. On the outside, she hadn't changed in 40 years, but on the inside, she felt like a completely different person. She wondered if Jesse would still love her when they meet again.
"If we meet again." She thought bitterly.
She had waited for Jesse in Treegap ever since she was 16 years old. He had promised that he would come back for her, but after 40 years, he hadn't. She worried that something had happened to him, that someone had found out his secret. Or, Winnie painfully feared, that he had fallen in love with someone else.
As Jesse's father had warned her, Winnie watched her friends, and family die. Had lived alone, afraid that her secret would be discovered. But, after the second world war had started, she felt a sudden urge to leave Tree Gap, and help people. To see the world. She decided that she would not wait around for the Tucks to return any longer!
But try as she may, The Tucks still haunted her dreams each night, and she found that she couldn't share feelings with any other man but Jesse.
A few men courted her. She had been proposed to countless times; once a general of enormous wealth. But she couldn't let go of Jesse Tuck.
About 2 years ago, Winnie enlisted as a nurse, and had been stationed in France. She felt it difficult to watch young men die, knowing that she herself was unable. On hard lonely days, she sometimes wished that she could switch places with them.
Winnie walked into the kitchen, and found it empty. She poured herself a cup of coffee, and sat on the bench outside of the room where the healing soldiers were kept.
Sometimes when the world is lonely and the night is hard, sitting for a moment with a warm drink can be a reminder to keep going. Winnie felt refreshed after her coffee, and after she finished, she decided to check on the soldiers. She assumed that they would all be asleep.
When she entered the room, she was hit with the metallic smell of blood, but she ignored it. She walked down the rows of beds until she was at the last one. As she turned to leave, a voice softly said, "Miss."
She turned to the bed where the voice came from, and saw a young man with his head wrapped in a bandage. His arm was in a sling, and his leg was propped up. "What are you doing?" He asked.
Winnie looked at this battered man and smiled, "I couldn't sleep." She admitted.
The man nodded. "Me too." He replied. .
"May I sit down?" Winnie asked. He gestured to the edge of his bed and Winnie sat with him.
"Do you want to tell me why you can't sleep?" she asked gently.
He sat up in his bed a little. "I can't stop thinking about the battlefield. And this man..." He said, stopping to chew on his lip as he thought. She nodded, listening intently.
"See, we were together in our Unit, when the Germans attacked us in the afternoon. Me and my buddy, we were crouched together behind a low wall, and the Germans threw a grenade right where we were sitting. We both ran from it, but when it went off, it got me." He paused, furrowing his brow. Winnie tilted her head, understanding how hard it is for soldiers to relive their terrifying moments on the battlefield.
" I couldn't move." He continued, "Then, my friend picked me up, and he began to run us to safety..." he stopped and with a puzzled look on his face, continued. "While he was running, I was watching bullets hit him over and over again. I thought for sure he was a dead man. But he just kept running. Bullet after bullet going through his body. When we made it to safety, he didn't have a scratch on him." Winnie's heart skipped a beat. Her blood ran cold. It couldn't be...
"What was your friend's name?" She asked, her voice shaking.
"Miles." he answered. "Miles Tuck."